By Danielle Taylor

The Clarion River serves as the lifeblood of the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region, traveling 110 miles from its genesis near Wilcox in northern Elk County to its confluence with the Allegheny River in southwestern Clarion County. Along its route, it creates the border between Jefferson, Clarion, and Forest Counties near Cook Forest and provides excellent recreation opportunities for paddlers, anglers, wildlife watchers, and other nature lovers. On August 18 and 19, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) will host a two-day canoe trip along 24 gorgeous miles of the Clarion River, and they invite you to join in.

The trip celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which has protected thousands of miles of exceptionally wild, scenic, and recreational rivers across the country. More than 50 miles of the Clarion River between Ridgway and Miola came under its protection in 1996, the same year DCNR and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers recognized it as their River of the Year. This two-day journey will cover 24 miles of the Clarion’s protected segment, federally recognized for its superior recreational qualities.

On day one, paddlers will launch from Hallton and explore 13 miles of the river to Clear Creek State Park, where they will camp for the night near the river and enjoy quiet time beneath the stars. Day two involves an 11-mile paddle from Clear Creek to Cook Forest State Park, passing through designated Important Bird Areas including a known bald eagle nesting area. During the sojourn, staffers from DCNR and WPC will be on hand to provide paddling guidance and share insights about flora and fauna seen en route as well as current projects affecting the river and its adjoining protected landscapes. Participants are welcome to sign up for one or both days, and registration fees ($50/paddler for one day, $90/paddler for both) include meals, canoe rental, tent campsite, educational programs, and shuttles.

To register for the sojourn or for more information, contact WPC’s Kylie Maland by August 10 at (814) 776-1114 or

Learn more and find other special places to explore in the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region by going to or calling (814) 849-5197.

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